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20th April 2012

Plans for first professional body for social care workers announced today

Plans for the first body to represent staff in the social care sector were announced today (Friday, April 20) by Care Forum Wales.

Speaking at a conference at Wrexham's Glyndwr University, Welsh Government Health and Social Services Minister, Lesley Griffiths said she welcomed the creation of the Academy of Health Practitioners - the first such body in the UK - following a successful pilot scheme.

She said: “This development will add to the reputation of social care work as an attractive and challenging occupation making a real difference to the every day lives of people in Wales.”

The Academy of Care Practitioners will be officially launched at the Senedd in Cardiff on Monday, May 21, at a reception hosted by the the Health and Social Services Minister and the Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas.

The news was welcomed by social care workers - there is currently no professional body to raise the profile and the status of people working in social care, unlike in social care and nursing.

Teresa Pritchard, who took part in the pilot project for the Academy of Care Practitioners, said: "The concept, has been widely supported for some time and the pilot project we have undertaken has shown overwhelming support of care practitioners themselves. 

"Professional bodies can be a real source of support and greatly assist in promoting best practice and raising standards to the benefit of service users," she added.

Mario Kreft, Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: "One of the biggest issues in our view is that vocationally qualified social care workers are a profession without their own professional body. We believe it's about time that was put right.

"It's really about providing a support mechanism, helping people with their personal and professional development, and gaining added value benefits..

"This innovation will create the first body of its type for social care workers in the UK and it is fitting that it should be created in Wales where we have seen a great deal of innovation in recent years."

The initiative was also welcomed by Professor Mike Scott, Vice Chancellor of Glyndwr University, which has agreed to support the initiative for the first two years while it establishes itself.

Professor Scott said: "Glyndŵr University has recognised the need for an independent body helping to assure the profession, the government and stakeholders to have confidence in the important work of social care across the country.

"It is delighted therefore to work with Care Forum Wales to host and thereby help facilitate the creation and development of the new Academy of Care Practitioners as a significant step forward for the profession."

For more information about the Academy of Care Practitioners ring Sue Thomas on 01978 752500 or email her at


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